The essence of the game is deception
- Leonard Koppett
Back in January I made a flip comment about Manu's quirky facility with slipping opponent's 5-hole. Statistically unworthy, I jibed facetiously, not realizing just how reliably deadly an arrow this is in his playmaking quiver.
A few days/games later I watched him do it again; then, even later, BAM!, he struck once more. Now, every time he's in and there's a big Dancing Bear, or bigger Brazilian setting a high pick and ready to roll to the lane, I watch Manu to see if an opposing 4 or 5 steps out to cut off his (Manu's) path to the hole. That's when the magic happens.
Such genius shouldn't go unacknowledged, I decided. Sure, go for 15 assists and they'll give you a nice golf clap. After all, this is what the Spurs are, non-pareil (that was for you, Frenchie: get better soon). But do the boobs on Sports Center break it down when they could be showing you LBJ dunking a dozen different ways? Uhhhh-No.
So I strapped myself onto the YouTube search engine and typed Ginobili between legs, or some such triplet, and oh, the places I went. I started to stock my 'Gino nutmegs' playlist for about 20 minutes before coming across the trail of The One Who Went Before, and his excellent compilation (soundtrack NSFW), Manu Ginobili Nutmeg Mix.
Seeking to report to the erstwhile J. Gomez who I had previously bantered with on this phenomenon, I began searching yet again, this time in Google, for occurrences of nutmeg in PtR when, lo and behold, I came across this brilliance from polezo. More than just some of Manu's best wicket-splitters, it features a few of those unbelievable darts he will throw from the top of the key (and beyond) to his target just beneath the basket.
Going forward, and for my part, I will endeavor to log each new sleight-of-Manu and pass it along, taking comfort in the knowledge that my many brethren out there are watching vigilantly as well.